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January 17, 2023

Kalamazoo State Theatre

Celebrate radical healing with TRHT Kalamazoo on National Day of Racial Healing Tuesday, Jan. 17 from 6 to 9:15pm at the Kalamazoo State Theatre hosted by Von.

Panelists for the evening include Valarie Cunningham, Kyle Odom, Kama Mitchell, Demarra West, and Alessandra Santos Pye. You can learn more about each speaker below.

The evening will also feature music, including performances by Ed Genesis, Ballet Folklorico De Mi Tierra, and the Kalamazoo Chinese Academy.

Soul Artistry, El Concilio, Rootead, YWCA, NAACP, Kalamazoo Promise, O’Jamm, and more will also be on hand.


About Valarie Cunningham

Valarie Cunningham is the founder and CEO of The Synergy Health Center (SHC) for the past 19 years. The Synergy Health Center, a non-profit organization whose mission is to transform lives through mental health, behavioral health and substance abuse and support services with particular attention to African Americans. The Synergy Health Center has two locations including Kalamazoo, Portage and Three Rivers, Michigan. In 2019, the first inaugural Breaking the Stigma: African Mental Health Symposium was launched in Kalamazoo County, impacting over 250 individuals including residents, professional, clergy and more. In 2020, SHC partnered with WMU and hosted the Breaking the Stigma: African American Mental Health Symposium virtually with over 171 in attendance. This passion for African Mental Health has opened many doors to advocate, educate and empower Black and Brown communities.  As a need for the continual conversations around Black Mental Health, a monthly forum entitled Let’s Talk: Black Mental Health was launched. As of late, she will be working to break systemic barriers as it relates to Adolescent Mental Health for Black and brown adolescents of color by training them to be Mind Health Ambassadors in their school, community and youth lead organizations. She continues to speak and train on the topics of breaking stigmas, racial trauma, and healing, at colleges, churches, business and internationally about mental health and its impact. This is done through ValarieSimone, LLC her consulting firm focused on Mastering Mind and Heart Matters.

About Kyle Odom
Kyle is a Reiki energy practitioner, quantum frequency healing, and aura analysis

She combines all her gifts for energy cleansing, chakra balancing and energy healing for the mind, body and soul.  She channels high vibration spiritual guides and angels to give messages from loved ones that have passed to the other side.

Kyle provides her clients with an experience through healing music, and shamanic instruments.

Kyle has been on this mission of helping people for over the last 20 years.  It is my passion to support individuals with their personal journeys through a variety of healing modalities: Reiki, Quantum Frequency and tapping into Spirit to receive direction.

“I want to share my gifts to enrich others through tapping into Spirit who knows all, sees all

About Kama Mitchell

Kama Tai Mitchell is a yogi, certified birth and death doula, African diasporic dancer, and cultural healing arts innovator. She has a core belief that living an embodied life is the root of all healing. Kama is the founder and Executive Director of Rootead Enrichment Center in Kalamazoo, MI. A center focused on reducing epigenetic stress/trauma, destigmatizing mental health, and disrupting intergenerational poverty and disease through generative offerings and collaborations, while intentionally centering the lived experience of BIPOC/LGBTQIA+ folx. An initiate of Himalayan Tantric Hatha Yoga, a racial healing circle/wisdom keeper, and a newer student of traditional West African Ifa, griot musicology, and ancestral lineage healing; she now incorporates these learnings into her yogic lifestyle. She identifies as queer, radical, abolitionist, and a grand lover of life in all its cultures and forms.


About Demarra West
Demarra West is a licensed therapist, Reiki master, registered yoga teacher, and certified professional coach. She is also the founder of Be Well Beautiful Woman, a global wellness and business social enterprise for women focused on liberation and joy and Change Agent Consulting which provides executive coaching, strategic planning, leadership development, and DEI services. And last, but surely not least, she is the Board Chair of YWCA Kalamazoo.


About Alssandra Santos Pye

Alessandra Santos Pye is a psychotherapist, facilitator and artist. Her clinical approach and facilitation offerings center relational dynamics rooted in restorative justice, trauma informed care, and the expressive arts. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, original territory of the Tupi Guarani, her identity is multifaceted by Indigenous, West African, and European ancestry. Alessandra is the Founder and Creative Director of the Chrysalis Institute, whose mission is to expand the spectrum of opportunities available to emerging BI&POC artists by supporting self-exploration, self-care, and contemplative practices. She serves the Retreat Center Collaboration (RCC) as a listening circle facilitator for BI&POC individuals working in the retreat center industry. A graduate of the Center for Psychedelic Studies and Research at the California Institute of Integral Sciences, she currently serves Naropa University as a cohort leader for the Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy certificate program, and is also a cohort leader for the inaugural Psychedelic Facilitator Program at the Alma Institute. She is a member of the American Psychedelic Practitioners Association and is deeply passionate about psychedelic preparation, ceremonial practices, and psychedelic integration care. Alessandra feels at home in group & retreat environments and values crafting experiences that are both engaging and restorative.


About Ballet Folklorico De Mi Tierra

Ballet Folklorico De MI Tierra, is a dance group formed by El Concilio in 2018. With the idea of having a space for youth to explore their heritage and represent the Latino community in Kalamazoo and surrounding South-West Michigan area. The group also functions as a social group that helps with strengthening their goal-directed behavior as well as their self-management skills. With the support of parents and the commitment of youth, the youth have been able to share in many special events throughout the years with songs like the El Son De La Negra and Arriba Pichataro.


About Kalamazoo Chinese Academy

The KCA Performing Arts project includes three performing groups: Chinese folk dance, lion dance, as well as Chinese YoYo. KCA Performing Arts aims to expand opportunities for artists of all ages, skill levels, backgrounds, and identities through their performing arts program. In addition to establishing Chinese culture as integral part of the Kalamazoo community through performing arts, the expansion and diversification of their programs will showcase the uniqueness of Chinese art and culture to a wider audience without them having to travel to China. KCA Performing Arts strives to provide performing arts programs to promote access, in a safe and welcoming environment, to Kalamazoo County students underserved in the arts through the transformative power of the arts.


About Orchestra Jammbo’laya (O.Jamm)

Orchestra Jammbo’laya is a community project comprised of a diverse group of young musicians, local artists and teachers. Collectively, the musicians envision what music elements from the African Diaspora sound like through western instruments. The group can be heard playing a wide range of music composers including Chiquinha Gonzaga, Big Momma Thorton, Prince, Koffee, and original comportions from O.Jamm musicians. As the project develops, it aims to serve as a model for establishing diversity, representation, exploration, and community among the music education process for players and audience members alike.

Community healing circles will be available the day before on Jan. 16. Host venues to be announced



Kalamazoo State Theatre’s main parking lot is located just south of the theatre at the intersection of South Burdick & Cedar St. This is an automated gate and accepts card only.

For additional parking options, please view downtown Kalamazoo’s parking map.  You can find tips for downtown parking, and within it is a link to a map and key.



From the North (US-131 South, from Grand Rapids) Take US-131 and keep left on the fork to continue to 131 BUS S (Business South), follow signs for Exit 41/BUS/131/Downtown/Kalamazoo. Continue on Westnedge and turn left onto W. Michigan Ave., turn right onto the S. Kalamazoo mall. The State Theatre will be on your right, 404 S Burdick St.

From the South (US-131 North, Three Rivers, Indiana) Take US-131 N. to Exit 31 A to merge onto 1-94 E towards Detroit. Take exit 76 from Westnedge Ave. S. the turn left onto S. Westnedge. Take a right on Cedar St. until you get to Burdick and the State Theatre will be on your left, 404 S Burdick St.

From the East (I-94 West, from Detroit) Take I-94 W. and take Exit 81 for I-94 BUS towards Downtown/Kalamazoo. Turn left on King Highway to stay on I-94 BL W(Business Loop). Turn left onto E. Walnut St. Turn right onto S. Burdick St, the State Theatre will be on your left, 404 S. Burdick St.

From the West (I-94 East, from Chicago) Friendly reminder: you may be traveling from Central to Eastern/Standard time. Kalamazoo is one hour ahead Chicago. Take I-94 East to Exit 76 for S. Westnedge Ave. Take a left and continue north on S. Westnedge Ave. S. where it becomes Park St at the top of the hill. Continue downhill on Park St and take a slight right onto W Crosstown Parkway, take a slight left onto S. Burdick St. Continue on S. Burdick St and the State Theatre will be on you left.


January 17, 2023
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